NEW DELHI: Her voice captivated the nation on the month of Shravan as scores of people took part in kanwar yatras in reverence to Lord Shiva.
While many invoked Lord Shiva with her captivating rendition of Har Har Sambhu, Farmani Naaz, the YouTube sensation who sang the song, found herself in the hot soup after some Muslim clerics raised the question of Muslim singing songs in praise of Hindu Gods.
While talking to The New Indian, Naaz, who had gone through many hardships, looked at her defiant best. “If people want to criticise me, I cannot help. But I will continue to sing my songs,” Naaz, who hails from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, said.
A Deoband-based Muslim cleric had criticized Naaz for her the bhajan to invoke Lord Shiva. According to cleric Mufti Asad Qasmi under Islam, dancing and even singing are prohibited by Sharia. Qasmi said that Naaz should seek forgiveness from Allah.
However, Naaz said that she is an artist and she sings for everyone. “I am an artist who sings for everyone. I don’t have to justify anyone. People from all religions listen to my songs and make comments. I have 10 million followers and they do like my songs,” said Naaz who rose to fame after her appearance in the 12th season of Indian Idol in 2021.
“Last year also, we recorded two songs during Shravan on Kanwar Yatra. At that time nobody raised any objection to a Muslim singing Hindu bhajan. I love to sing every type of song and don’t feel any problem with it,” Naaz said.
Speaking about her famous song, Naaz said that she memorized the Sanskrit shlokas in her song one night before recording the song the next day.
Naaz, a single mother, acknowledged that the response she got for the song was beyond her expectations. “I had sung many bhajans but never got such a response from the listeners,” she added.
She along with her team members have recorded around 300 to 400 songs. They are all available on Facebook and YouTube.
Naaz faced hard times after her husband, who never approved of her singing, left her in 2019 – the year she gave birth to a child with a severe throat condition.
Though Naaz returned to her maternal home, she faced hardships without income. “My brother and one Rahul Mulheda of my village helped me start singing. We started with celebration parties and soon we opened our channel,” Naaz before admitting that she got fame through her participation in Indian Idol.
Though Naaz left the competition midway, owing to the illness of her son, she became popular and now boasts an impressive 4 lakh subscribers to her channel.